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Off to Russia: Disgraced Forward Brendan Leipsic Officially Signs in KHL

Photo by Elizabeth Kong

Off to Russia: Disgraced Forward Brendan Leipsic Officially Signs in KHL

Roughly three months after forward Brendan Leipsic was released from his contract by the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the now-infamous Winnipegger has agreed to terms on a new deal overseas with CSKA Moscow of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. As per KHL policy, financial terms of the deal were not released. CSKA finished first in the KHL with a 45-13-4 record in 2019-20.

Leipsic found his name drug through the mud in early May as the scapegoat in what the NHL is beginning to cut down on – behaviour stemming from toxic masculinity. He along with nine other prominent local hockey players (some professional) had an Instagram group chat exposed to the public, in which degrading remarks towards teammates and opponents, along with comments relating to the outward appearance of many young local women, sexual fantasies and judgements were cast upon said targets (AKA ‘kills’). Continual verbiage around the topic of weight gain, body composition/image and heavily opinionated general hatred also resounded prominently.

Leipsic, 25, and his younger brother Jeremey (23, University of Manitoba Bisons) Leipsic each were reprimanded to the extent of contract termination for their involvement in the conversation. A number of the others involved in the private group chat have seen various levels of ‘internal discipline’ from their respective hockey programs, while others have been fired from their jobs. Even a number of local Manitoban restaurants have barred members of this group chat from entrance to their establishments.

Along with Brendan and Jeremey Leipsic, Jack Rodewald (Florida Panthers), Jackson Keane (University of North Dakota), Warren Callis (University of Manitoba), Jordyn Boyd (University of Manitoba), Spencer Tremblay (Waywayseecappo Wolverines), Brandon Lauder (Portage Terriers), Tyler Morwick (Charleswood Hawks), and Travis Brown (Moose Jaw Warriors) were participants in the conversation – each to different extents.

The elder Leipsic was the most established of the group, having spent the past six seasons between the NHL and AHL. After beginning his career with Toronto, Brendan Leipsic moved to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, before finding himself bounce between the Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals over the past two seasons.

In 187 career NHL games, Leipsic has 16 goals, 59 points and 53 penalty minutes. He had three goals, 11 points and 13 penalty minutes through 61 games with Washington in 2019-20. The former Winnipeg Monarchs AAA star was currently 85 percent through his one-year, $700K deal with the Capitals which he signed this past July. He has an estimated career earnings just north of $2.5 million.

“Yesterday my friend’s Instagram account was hacked and an individual circulated images that are representative of private conversations I was a part of,” Leipsic posted on his Twitter page shortly after leaked images of the conversation made their way online. “I fully recognize how inappropriate and offensive these comments are and sincerely apologize to everyone for my actions. I am committed to learning from this and becoming a better person by taking time to determine how to move forward in an accountable, meaningful way. I am truly sorry.”

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com.

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